There are 3 Arancino restaurants on Oahu. Arancino at The Kahala serves modern, innovative Italian cuisine. You won’t be going there to eat spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna. Think more sophisticated dishes such as uni pasta and wagyu beef bolognese.
A great way to sample this restaurant’s offerings at a more reasonable price, as well as at other fine dining establishments, is to order their multi-course prix fixe lunch menu. Lunch prices are usually cheaper than dinner.
For $39 (or $45 if you’re ordering the uni pasta as your entree), you can choose a insalate (salad) or antipasti (“before the meal”; as in an appetizer), a primi (meaning “first” in Italian) or pizza, and a dolci (“sweets” or dessert).
For our first visit there, we decided to share a variety of menu items. Of course, we enjoyed some house bread and plantation tea first.
For my appetizer, I chose the wonderfully creative bagna cauda — crudités (raw vegetables) served with a warm anchovy, garlic dip. The dip was kept warm by a tea light heating the mini porcelain fondue pot. The crunchy vegetables were playfully presented in a terra cotta pot, with the “dirt” being dried, chopped mushrooms. Underneath that layer of mushrooms was a bed of bread, which I used to soak up the remaining dip after I had eaten all of my vegetables.
He chose to start off with the tartare di mare – fresh ahi and kona kampachi tartare topped with tobiko.
My next course was the spaghetti con tobiko e calamari — spaghetti with flying fish roe, calamari in a garlic, olive oil sauce. The pasta looked so pristine and tasted so light.
He also thoroughly enjoyed his spaghetti ai ricci di mare —spaghetti with uni in a white wine, tomato cream sauce. No doubt, as Arancino at the Kahala was voted to have the best uni pasta in Honolulu by Honolulu Magazine.
I ended my meal with tiramisu (which literally translates to “a pick me up”), an Italian dessert in which ladyfingers have been dipped in coffee and layered with a mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese. This is Arancino’s take on a deconstructed tiramisu.
He had the panna cotta — italian cream custard, served with housemade hamakua tomato sorbet, tomato compote and gelée.
If you’re looking for upscale Italian cuisine, then we recommend making a reservation at Arancino at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.
Arancino at the Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816